i6o HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION taking shape. One of its earliest manifestations was the rise to consciousness of the spirit of nationality in various parts of Europe. In the Middle Ages, men had found themselves as citizens of towns: now they began to discover that a wider citizenship might mean an enlargement and not a diminution of personality. Intimately connected with the growth of national feeling was the emergence of true literature in the languages hitherto regarded as vulgar and incapable of literary use. Even before the revival of learning had come to its height, Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio in Italy, Chaucer and Wycliffe in England, had shown the immense possibilities of the verna- cular tongues. In physical science, again, there was active research for the first time for many centuries, beginning- with Roger Bacon and culminating in the epoch-making work of Copernicus. It was the same spirit that was at work in both cases ; but the results were very different. In the one, the re-naissance of the past: in the other, the naissance of the future. Not that the two movements were so sharply marked off from each other as this way of contrasting them might seem to imply. On the one hand, the desire for a revival of the better past was originally only another form of the desire for a better future. The aim of the men who sought to reproduce the life of the ancient world was really to reconstruct their own world so as to appropriate all that was fine in past achievement. And, on the other hand, those who felt most strongly the creative impulse that could not be content till it had embodied itself in new artistic and institutional forms undoubtedly derived both inspiration and guidance from ancient sources. Nevertheless, there was an inherent antagonism between them even from the beginning ; and it grew deeper as the renais- sance gradually lost its first vigour and passed into the established order of things. It was easier for most men to find satisfaction in the resurrection of old times than to venture on untried ways of thought and action and bring new times into being ; but for that very reason the modes of social life derived from antiquity became in course of time as great an obstacle to progress as the ones they had displaced. Those for whom the golden age lay not behind but in front were compelled by the quickening spirit which had produced the renaissance to become the critics of it, and to strive to pass beyond it.